Goals, Objectives, and our means


Hello and a Happy New Year to all :-)

Before we start our discussion, I would like to start with saying to all the people supporting forums, all contributors, and all the forums Moderators WELL DONE! You are doing great job and I hope that more people will follow you. I wish you all and to your families a Happy New Year, and may the good that you do will come back to you :-)

Today we are once again with our Tuesday Featured Post, and the second I saw the response bellow, I knew that this thread is going to be my choice. I would like to show you what is a perfect thread in my book. Please check this thread, stared with the question: " How To Insert Into Table With Identity Over Linked Server "

"Thank you very much for your guidance.  I agree.  I don't need someone to do the work for me.  I just need to be pointed in the right direction.  Simple examples like the ones you provided are enough to help me to resolve my issues." (lcerni)

Whenever I see a response like the above quote, I feel great and I know that I have done my work well. This response includes "all in one". Firstly, the OP remembered to say thanks, which unfortunately not everyone remember to do in the forum. Moreover, the OP actually learned something new, and he clarifies that he was looking to learn and not for someone to do his work for him.

I wondered if you all feel the same...

If you spend time helping others in the forums, then this discussion is for you :arrow:

With the opening of the new year, it's good time to discuss and remember what are our Goals & Objectives, and what are our means in the forums. Why do we spend so much time helping people solving their issues in the forum?

I would like to focus on specific point. Are we here in order to do someone else's work or to help them do it by themselves?

My answer is clear. I am here in order to help people that want to learn to do the work themselves! I can clarify a bit more about my personal point of view, and about my approach accordingly, but first we need some definitions:

  • Goals are the primary outcome we want to achieve.
  • Objectives are measurable steps that we want to achieve, in the way to our goals.
  • Strategy is the approach we take to achieve our Objectives.
  • Means are the tools we have in pursuing our objectives associated with a strategy.

Can you answer what are your Goals, Objectives, Strategy, and Means? Can you even describe your goals to yourself?!?

This is not a simple question as it seems to be at first glance. I challenge you to answer the question. I would love to read your answers, but you can try to describe your goals to yourself, as well :-)

I think that basically I have two Goals in my community work. Firstly, I want to feel good with myself. Yes, I am doing it for me and not for you. I love to help others because it gives me a good feeling. I truthfully think that this is the main Goal of all of us, and some people just don't like to admit it. Secondly, "in the big picture", I would love to see that everyone helps everyone to improve themselves, and that anyone who wants to learn and improve himself in the right direction, will get all the help he needs.

Long long time ago, I used to work as a teacher. Let's say the truth, the reason I did retrain to High-Tech was that the salaries are several times higher. With that being said, I loved to teach and I would probably still do it, if the salaries differences were not so high. Yes... If you want to learn, I am here for you.

It is much simpler to describe our objectives. In my case I would probably say that my objectives are to help the communities members, and expand the community of those who help. Threads as the one I mentioned above are confirmation of success of my objectives. My reward is when people say thanks, and when I know that I actually helped someone to learn. The perfect case is when I see people that got help in the forums, become the next generation of these who help others.

Well, what is the strategy and means, which we have in order to get these objectives?

The forums give us the tools to help these who want to learn. My approach is not to give people answers to their homework or to work for them for free, but to help them do their work and help them to learn to do it themselves. The forums are not a paid support system, but a place to get help from the community.

Fish Our motto should be: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.


It is OK to ask for hints, but not to post your entire homework or project's definition and ask us to do it for you. We’re happy to help with a question from homework, but we should not do the homework for you. Our job is to help people find out why and not to take them blindfolded to the finish line! 

One of the best ways to get our objectives is to ask the OP to show that he made a serious effort to answer the question on his own, before he came to ask for our help. We can ask the OP to try his best to do his assignment, and come back with a first draft of his attempts, even if these do not fully answer his needs.

What say you?

Forums, the final frontier
– Ronen Ariely,